The Ebola Outbreak and Your Travels

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The recent Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has received a lot of media attention of late and for very good reason, Ebola is an extremely deadly disease and has no known vaccine or defined treatment method. As the world is becoming more and more international and borders for travel begin to fall it is important that we all exercise a duty of care for our friends, family and others during and after travelling. We all have a responsibility to keep Ebola to a minimum, as well as other diseases. This Ebola crisis has caused many organisations to seek an effective method of treatment and one simple way you can help to contribute is to donate to the Ebola crisis through charity organisations such as UNICEF.

Understanding the Symptoms

Understanding the symptoms of Ebola and other diseases that are a risk in the country that you are visiting is extremely important, you need to make it a priority to learn some basic symptoms of diseases so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. One of the most dangerous things about Ebola is that the initial symptoms are things such as headaches, sore throat and muscle weakness, and these symptoms are very similar to influenza and other illnesses, and can cause a high risk of misdiagnosis.

Avoiding Ebola

Until more is known about how to treat the Ebola virus the best way to avoid the disease is to avoid areas where the outbreak has occurred, this is not to say that these areas should be avoided forever, but until the epidemic in these countries is controlled, or better diagnosis and treatment is developed it is best to avoid these countries if possible.

Be aware of other people that may have travelled to affected areas, you need to be aware of the fact that you will come into contact with others on your travels that may have been to one of the affected areas and this applies not only to Ebola and is a great general rule. A good example of this is letting quarantine and customs know that you have been to a place such as South America, which poses many risks due to the various tropical diseases. In the same way it is important to let people know where you have been, so that

 

 

Sail through San Francisco – top tips for making your trip an easy one

San Francisco is a marvellous city for any wide eyed traveller looking to find all the great things that American cities have to offer. More than that, San Francisco is a cultural hub, a place where you’ll see and feel culture.

A vibrant foodie haven, a place of art and of course a city that comes with an abundance of must see tourist attractions – it’s a hard place to fit everything in for the traveller. Luckily for you, we’ve created 4 top tips for anyone heading to the city of bright lights.

San Fran

Image Source: Flickr

4  Top tips for travelling to San Francisco

  1. Dinner and dining plans

Thinking about checking out some of San Fran’s best and most beloved restaurants? You should be so lucky. San Francisco is home to devout foodies – if you want to be part of the scene for a few hours, it’s imperative to book well ahead of your time. So, do your homework and call well in advance if good food is on your to do list. Pier 39 in San Francisco will give you a great choice of eateries at a spectacular location; well worth getting along to.

  1. The Culture

A visit to San Francisco would not be complete without experiencing all this wonderful city has to offer.  Home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies – you’ll never be short of a thing or do to do and see and it’s important to take the time to squeeze this all in.  Museum’s come in abundance – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum, the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

The city is dedicated to the finest of classical and contemporary arts and of course is home to California Academy of Sciences which homes an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof. Our best advice is to plan and book ahead – these places are always busy. Create a schedule and ensure you have prearranged tickets for both the place and your travel arrangements to get there. In terms of location, Hotels in San Francisco are amongst the finest in the world and you’ll have no issues finding something central.

  1. Getting around

Don’t visit San Francisco and expect public transport to the standards of NYC or Europe. It can be good at best but a lot of the time, it’s confusing. There are two separate tickets you have to buy for BART (subway) and MUNI (buses/streetcars), don’t assume the ticket you bought for BART works on MUNI.  Taxis/cabs are few and far between and hailing one from the street is next to impossible. If you are tech savvy, consider hailing a ride using the mobile apps from UberLyft, or SideCar, they are much faster and more reliable than hailing a cab on the street. Or if you don’t own a smartphone – consider calling ahead to order for pick up.

  1. Clothing and shoe wear

Bring warm clothes, such as jumpers and jeans but leave your parka and ski gloves at home. It’s much easier to dress in layers, especially in a city like San Francisco were you are likely to be doing a lot of walking, you’ll be much happier dressing in layers. The average temperature here is about 62° F / 16.5°C, even in the summer. Thinking about packing those heels? Don’t. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes; San Fran is famous for its steep hills and avenues.

Two Top Movie-Themed Online Slot Designs

When it comes to understanding what makes a design great, it is important to consider all the different forms of creative design that is out there. A great deal can be understood about what instantly catches someone’s eye, and what characteristics most people find interesting, by broadening your understanding of design. Viewing the intricate details and trends that you find in online gambling video games, especially those that are specifically themed, is a perfect way to implement a whole new dimension of creativity. One of the most popular trends of online gambling games is implementing a movie-theme. This process of combining technology with two major fields of entertain, that of online gaming and Hollywood, is the perfect way to bring some much needed joy to the lives of many. The added bonus with these online gambling games is the fact that many sites, such as http://pokiespalace.com.au, offer the games free of charge, implementing in-game currency, so your life doesn’t have to come crashing down around you if your luck seems to fail. Here are two that definitely stand out.

Lord of the Rings

Who doesn’t love the Lord of the Rings? The weird and wonderful world of Middle Earth, created by the legendary Tolkien himself. Based on Peter Jackson’s film adaptation, this game features sounds and images from the official films, making sure that your experience of Middle Earth is as real as possible. The design pays special attention to the background image that play an important role in setting the tone. If you come across the evil all-seeing eye of Sauron, you definitely do not have to fear as much as Sam and Frodo did. This symbol can be used to change other symbols, increasing your chances of victory.

The Hangover

When one thinks about films and gambling, chances are The Hangover will be mentioned. It is almost like this movie was made with this game in mind. With video clips and sound bites straight from the film, along with the main voice over provided by none other than the hilarious gangster boss himself, Mr. Chow (also known as Ken Jeong), there is no reason not to love this game.

By Jason Swindon

Can Australia Retain The Urn?

Following Australia’s emphatic whitewash of England in their home country in the winter of 2013, Michael Clarke and friends will be hoping to repeat the feat in England in the summer of 2015 and keep hold of that extremely tiny but extremely valuable urn.

The Ashes are the pinnacle of cricket, and an event that every sporting fan looks forward to.

England were followed by a large (and long suffering) army of travelling fans and it is likely that Australia will be no different. Following their oh so convincing manner of victory, Australia will be in confident mood and expectant of a first series win in England since their 4-1 victory back in 2001. Will Mitchell Johnson repeat the deadly form that saw him tear through England’s batting order?

England however, will be hurting from the crushing nature of their defeat, in which they didn’t even come close to even managing a draw and posted scores which frankly were downright embarrassing, and will be determined to prove that the debacle of the previous winter was nothing more than a blip. Alistair Cook will also be willing to prove that he is able to juggle the captaincy and being the number one batsman, hoping to return to the sparkling form he displayed in the 2010 tournament in Australia.

England’s form since the Ashes has improved, albeit slowly. Having lost their two match test series with Sri Lanka 1-0, they then went on to beat India 3-1. Australia meanwhile followed up their memorable victory by clinching another impressive test win, 2-1 against the number one test side South Africa.

For the Australians that will be travelling to the UK to cheer on their heroes, preparations for the trip are likely to be well underway. After all, tickets for events like these are like gold dust. Of course spending a long period of time in a foreign country can be full of challenges and  unexpected obstacles, especially for first time visitors. While Travel Insurance is not usually on the top of anyone’s list when planning for a holiday, you’ll be mightily relieved to have it should you, for example, lose your luggage or have your passport stolen. A trip to watch your country play any sport is always memorable, and HBF Travel Insurance can help you make sure it isn’t remembered for the wrong reasons.

Whoever the victor, the Ashes is sure to provide cricket fans with a summer to remember.

Creative Ways to Travel Cheaply

If you’re anything like most people, you’d love to drop everything and go see the world for a few weeks, exploring and experiencing new countries and cultures while racking up the memories of a lifetime. The main thing that stops people in their tracks from traveling though is, you guessed it: money. But did you know that traveling doesn’t have to mean saving up a huge amount of money to spend all in a few weeks? You can use some creative strategies to make your dream holiday a reality. Here’s how:

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 Use travel points

Collecting travel points are a great way to earn credit towards your travel experience while just going about your daily life. You can pick up Avios travel reward points, for example, by shopping at many different stores, buying groceries or even just filling up your gas tank. And these are points that you can put towards your next flight to your dream destination, or a hotel room from which to launch your trip!

Be a flight hacker

A flight hacker is someone who knows all the tips and tricks that airlines and airlines websites use so they can score the cheapest flights. Want to be one of these people? Use a site like Kayak to start your flight search, as they collect all the different airline searches into one. Then cross-check using another global site like Skyscanner. You’ll also find the cheapest flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so keep that in mind when booking.

When you’re flight hacking, don’t forget to think about multiple routes to your destination. It helps to do a bit of research on the nearby airports not only in the country you want to visit, but possibly even nearby countries. It sounds crazy but you might actually save money by flying to a different country then taking another short flight over, or even a train or bus to your destination.

Stay for cheap

Worried about exorbitant hotel prices? It’s true that accommodation can be a huge part of your travel budget, but not if you use creative methods to score cheap or even free accommodation. Look into Couchsurfing if you’re into meeting and staying with locals, and don’t mind crashing on a couch. Air Bnb is another great way to find cheaper accommodation than hotel rooms, and it’s more cozy because you’re actually renting someone’s home. Finally, if you are interested in volunteering while you travel, there are many great options. You can research hosts on WWOOF or Workaway who are offering the opportunity to stay with them in exchange for some set amount of work hours per day. You can do any kind of work from organic farming and animal care to teaching or even working in a hostel in exchange for a bed. It’s a great way to have a local experience and really get to know the place where you’re staying.

 

Getting through all your chores as quickly as possible  

Very few people enjoy housework – they call them chores for a reason, after all!  However, for those who spend the majority of their time at home (namely stay-at-home professionals and the retired), the idea of keeping the house tidy can often become all encompassing.  It is essential, therefore, for those undertaking their own housework to find a routine that works for them – a way of streamlining the chores so that they don’t dominate day-to-day life.

 

Streamlining those laborious chores

 

The idea behind streamlining chores is all about completing jobs in the shortest amount of time possible, getting into the rhythm of housework so that it does not become a laborious task that takes all day.  While some wish to conduct a deep clean at least once a week, day-to-day chores such as vacuuming, mopping, polishing, dusting, turning down the beds, cleaning bathrooms, wiping surfaces, and general maintenance jobs can all be completed with general ease on a daily basis, ensuring that the home is always ready for unannounced guests, or even clients.

 

The most important thing to remember when getting down to the housework is to settle into a routine by establishing an order in which jobs can be completed more effectively and efficiently.  This could involve grouping tasks together – working through the house progressively to ensure that no stone goes unturned – or starting with the bigger, more laborious tasks first, so that small jobs can then be completed quickly.  Streamlining chores is also about using and maintaining the right tools for the job; for example, using the correct products on a particular type of flooring, or ensuring the vacuum bag is always emptied to prevent it from clogging halfway through a decidedly thorough cleaning session.  It is also a good idea to tackle tasks on a rotational basis, particularly those chores that do not need doing daily; is it Monday?  It must be time to wax the floor!  Keeping a tight schedule ensures that the home is always kept spick and span with very little impact on the rest of the day.

 

Taking time in the kitchen

 

As the hub of the home, the kitchen is perhaps the most important room in the house when it comes to completing daily chores.  The kitchen is the room in which food is stored and prepared, the place where many families dine together and catch up on the day’s events, and also a dedicated room to be used when hosting friends and family.  The kitchen is also the room most likely to attract germs and grime –from food stains and smudges, to muddy footprints where the kitchen has been treated as a thoroughfare, just about any form of mess will be found in the kitchen at some point!  It is vital, therefore, that a thorough cleaning of the kitchen forms the backbone of each day’s housework, ensuring that it remains a fresh and hygienic place to be.

 

One of the most laborious aspects of cleaning any kitchen is the sheer number of different surfaces that can be found in what is often a relatively small space.  These can include stone, plastic, or marble workbenches; tiled, wooden, stone, or laminate flooring, and furniture of all shapes and sizes – with all of these surfaces and textures to sanitize, it is impossible to impose just one method of cleaning, so tackling the kitchen can often seem a daunting task.  This is where it is essential to have the right tools for the job, and many people find themselves with a whole cupboard dedicated to squeegees, scrubbing brushes, wire brushes, mops, tile cleaner, disinfectant spray, and oven cleaner – they may only use a little of each at a time, but boy, does it make the job much easier!

 

Using the right products when cleaning can save trouble, time, and expense, helping the savvy householder to keep their homes well maintained.  Purchasing specialist stone care products, for example, will help to keep workbenches, furniture, and fixtures looking shiny and new, whilst ensuring that they remain hygienic and in a good working order.  In this instance, housework not only ensures the cleanliness of the home, but also saves homeowners from expensive repair and replacement costs further down the line.  It may be a chore, but housework is essential for keeping the home clean, tidy, and in a good state of repair.

 

Whistle while you work

 

Housework is one of life’s unavoidable tasks, that much is true; however, with the right attitude, the correct tools and materials for the job, and a carefully planned routine, it needn’t be a laborious chore that takes all day.

 

4 Tips for Eating Out When Traveling  

When you’re traveling, eating out at restaurants is just part of the deal. You’re naturally going to be eating out a lot more than you’ll have the opportunity to prepare your own meals. It’s more convenient and no one would argue that it’s enjoyable as well. Everyone loves having meals prepared for them, but most people don’t want to realize that a huge portion of their travel budgeting is going towards these meals eaten out at restaurants. But this doesn’t mean that you have to cut this luxury out of your travel plans. You can easily find the balance between enjoying some meals out, and saving your money for the things you really want to be doing, while still staying healthy all through it

1. Eat early

You might think that only old people eat at 5 pm, but you can actually save a bit of money if you go out to eat before the prime dinner hour. Many restaurants offer happy hour specials from 3-5 or from 4-6 during the week so you can get deals. You can also opt to go out for a drink and get some cheap appetizers during the happy hour time, then go out for a lighter meal later.

2. Skip the alcohol

Drinking can cut a huge hole in many people’s budgets. It can be very expensive to drink while you’re traveling, so to save your money for the things you really want to do on your trip, skip the extra booze at dinner. If you must, stick to one glass of wine. This way you’ll not only save money, but you’ll feel great the next day for your sightseeing.

3. Head out of the tourist center

If you always are eating in the center of town, you’re probably going to be eating at higher-priced restaurants. This is because many tourists eat at these restaurants so they are going to charge tourist prices. It’s okay to do this once in a while if you are really craving some food from home, but you might find your budget steadily dwindling. To combat this problem, head out of the center to the places where the locals are eating. You’ll know the food is great if it’s mostly locals eating there anyway! And you’ll be sure to find lower prices.

4. Grab some street eats

Not only is street food much cheaper than restaurants, but it’s often a great way to sample the local cuisine in a very authentic way. Grab a plastic table and chair and enjoy some Pad Thai and mango sticky rice in Thailand for $2- you won’t regret it! Southeast Asia is an amazing place to try incredible street meals for just a dollar or two and it’s some of the best food you’ll find there.

Accident in the clouds

Have you ever been traveling and felt unsafe on a flight? Was it due to the weather, your personal circumstance or the quality of the airline? When you take a flight you expect to be taken care of, but what happens when you are not? As a traveler, do you have the right to complain about your experience or should you keep it to yourself? What about if you suffer an injury while on board an aircraft, did you know there are specialists in personal injury aviation accidents? Here are some tips on how to proceed if you are unhappy with your airline experience.

What to do if you have a complaint

Read terms and conditions first – It is important to be well read on your transportation company’s policies before you pay them. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before booking your flight. If you know what is guaranteed in writing before you step onto the aircraft, it will save a lot of heartache in the long run.

Deal with it immediately – If you are dissatisfied with your flight, airline or experience deal with it as soon as possible. Try going straight to the customer service desk at the airport after you land and speak with a representative. At the very least get the name and details of a manager and a number you can call to file a claim. The longer you wait the harder it will be to get the respect and compensation you deserve.

Don’t be afraid to speak upAs a traveler you have more rights than you are probably aware of. This goes back to reading the airlines terms and conditions first. Don’t be afraid to complain if it is in the bounds of what was promised by the airline. Even if you are unsure, it does not hurt to at least voice your concerns to customer service. When you hold the airline accountable, you help ensure other travelers won’t face the same issues.

Types of accidents in the clouds

In-flight accidentsSome accidents are just that, accidents. They include tripping and falling while walking in the cabin or to the bathroom or falling on the way in or out of the aircraft.

Moving objectsA large number of accidents are caused by moving objects in the aircraft, such as luggage that falls from an overhead compartment or being hit by a passing service cart.

Turbulence This isa fairly normal occurrence on flights, but in some cases it leads to severe injury if the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, is moving about the cabin or is not properly warned about the turbulence.

Personnel errorsInjuries can be caused by the negligence of the airline’s personnel, such as the pilot being overtired or impaired, flight attendants, ground crew members or maintenance workers failing to uphold their “heightened duty of care” that they bound to by law, since airlines fall into the category of “common carrier” or entities that transport the public for a monetary fee.

Types of claim

Making a claim for an airline accident is largely dependent on what or who caused the accident.

Negligence claimThis applies if the accident was caused by inattentiveness of airline employees or the Federal Aviation Agency,

Airline employeesAirlinepersonnel must have done something that caused the traveler to be injured such as fail to warn passengers about heavy turbulence, not properly stowing luggage or leaving hazards in the walkway

Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)This organization responsible for the airline industry as a whole. If they fail to warn a pilot about a hazard on the runway and a crash results, causing passengers to be injured, the FAA may be held responsible.

“Acts of god”- An airline cannot be held accountable for unforeseen natural events. Sometimes the pilot and/or the flight attendants cannot see heavy turbulence coming. If you are injured and the staff did everything in their power to prevent passengers from being injured it would be considered an “act of god”.

Product liability claimsAirline staff cannot take all the blame. Sometimes it is simply that the materials used to manufacture the aircraft were defective. In such cases your claim would be filed against the manufacturer of the product that malfunctioned and caused your injury.

How to file a claim

If you find yourself in one of these situations or something similar, don’t panic. Stay calm; there are plenty of people around to help.

Directly with airline – You always have the option of dealing directly with the airline by visiting the Customer Service desk at the airport. If your problem is more serious, it may be a good idea to simply note the Customer Service manager’s name and number and seek professional help before proceeding further.

Personal injury lawyer -There are a wide variety of personal injury lawyers available, many of whom specialize in aviation injury. You can search online to find firms and lawyers in your area. Getting help from an expert is always the safest bet.

FAA – If you are interested in reporting a complaint or problem about your recent flight experience, including a personal injury, the FAA has a toll-free hotline – 866-835-5322.

All-in-one Orlando

Orlando has been a regular favourite for Britons for years, and for good reason. Sun, shopping, adventure and relaxation – Orlando, Florida is an all-in-one kind of destination.

It’s no surprise that it’s such a popular destination. Orlando offers something for the young, the old and due to the warm weather, you’re almost guaranteed sunshine to do it in. Regular and affordable flights are in abundance and we were able to get a great deal for flights to Orlando, thanks to its consistent popularity.

Theme Parks

My first thought was a stereotypical one: Disney World is in Orlando and that’s why everyone goes there. In fact, I was wrong. The theme park is a huge pull for the state but it isn’t the only reason to visit.

Also, most of the visitors stay in the vicinity of the park, which isn’t as central as I originally thought. The theme park is actually near Lake Buena Vista. It’s a must-see for families and the young at heart, Orlando has. But none of the theme parks are in town. Universal Studios, Sea Wold, Gatorland and Ripley’s Believe-it-or-not are all outside of Orlando. They’re all accessible and all worth a visit, but if you’re not up for it there’s a range of other activities for the 52 million tourists that visit annually.

Golf

I was surprised at just how many golf bags came off the plane. Yours will be well looked after, Orlando knows how to welcome golfers. Hire a house and a van and pack your friends and clubs in the back and hit one of the many golf courses. There is something for every handicap and the fantastic climate is a golfer’s best friend. From stunning private resorts like Ginn Reunion Golf Resort – designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, to the infamous Grand Cyress Resort, you could golf for days.

Shops

The Florida Mall is the largest in the state and it has everything you can imagine. The Mall at Millenia is Orlando’s most upscale and beautiful mall. It’s part of a new area that is seeing development and is worth a visit.

Parks

Everything grows in Orlando so it’s very green and there’s lots of nature around every corner. Be sure to spend time at Lake Eola Park, located at the centre of the city. Enjoy the music and drama in the amphitheatre or the farmers market on Sundays. It’s one of the best spots to view the city. Take a dip in the free-flowing natural spring At Kelly Park, Rock Springs or visit the University of Central Florida Arboretum. Both have no admission fee and both are a relaxing day morning or afternoon out.

And being America – the ultimate social meeting place – you’ll find every culture under the sun. And boy is there lots of sun. We had a wonderful time meeting new people, visiting more of the other attractions outside of the theme parks and we’ll certainly be back.

Next time with golf clubs.

Springtime is the right time for a Roman holiday

Rome’s ancient beauty is rarely more stunning than in the spring. For a few brief weeks each year the temperatures hover within a realm of lovely numbers and the heat of the sun brings new life to everything and everyone in the city.

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Rome hotels start to fill up in spring but there aren’t nearly as many tourists as will be swarming the city by June. The food is fresh, the flowers are gorgeous and the people watching is spectacular. Here are just a few of the reasons that the best time to visit Rome is in the spring.

 

Artichokes

Spring time is artichoke season in Rome. Roman artichokes (carciofi romaneschi) only grow from February to May meaning that when they appear on menus during other parts of the year they are imported from elsewhere. Sampling some freshly prepared fried (alla guidia) or braised artichokes with olive oil, garlic and herbs (alla romana) are the most delicious and authentic ways to indulge in this fleeting harvest.

 

Beaches

There are some really great beaches within an hour of the city. During the summer months beaches are packed (especially at weekends) and enjoying the sun and sand is made somewhat more difficult with so many strangers attempting to do the same.

Spring is the perfect time to visit the beach as the sun is warm enough to spread out on the sand (even if the water is still a bit cold) and there are far fewer people to share it with.

 

Flowers

The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most popular attractions and while it is delightful to stop and smell the roses, spring on the steps means Azaleas (and lots of them).

Every May, the city puts out buckets of blooming azaleas on the Spanish Steps. Once the blossoms have come and gone the pots do the same and are carted away to make room for the resident roses and cheap toy vendors. While it’s sad to see them go, they are a sight to behold mid-blossom and well worth a visit.

 

Gelato

Let’s face it – there’s never a wrong time for gelato. But the great thing about spring time is that gelato is no longer seen as an ‘excusable’ indulgence during colder days, it legitimately feels right. Sampling a few scoops of your favourite flavours while strolling through the spring streets of Rome is perhaps the most enjoyable experience possible. Sunny spring days were meant for gelato.

 

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it is best experienced between the cold winter days and the boiling summer nights. Spring brings about new life for the city and that makes it such an incredible time to visit. Before the busy summer crowds and the after shorter days of autumn and winter, springtime is the perfect window for the perfect holiday in Rome.